Strengthened by Fire by Andrew Grey

Title:  Strengthened By Fire

Series:   By Fire Series

Author:  Andrew Gray

Genre:   M/M Contemporary

Length:  1143 KB (79 pages)

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (August 7, 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts-loved it

Blurb:  Lee Staunton and Dirk Krause have been seeing each other for a couple of months when they get the bad news: the firehouse they work at will be closed unless they can come up with the money to complete some maintenance and repairs. The union wants to stand and fight. There’s just one problem: the only suggestion for how to raise the money is Lee’s. And Dirk hates it.

Unfortunately, everyone else thinks Lee’s “Chicken and Beefcake” dinner—which they’ll attend in just their hats, boots, and fire pants—is a great idea, and Lee goes ahead with the organizing. But interference from the borough council and low ticket sales threaten to rain on Lee’s parade. If Dirk can’t put aside his pride and stubborn nature for one night, it could cost both him and Lee their jobs—never mind their relationship.

Product Link:   http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3149

Reviewer:   Artemis

Review:  This is a sequel to Andrew Grey’s previous novel, Redemption by Fire.  In this book, we continue the story of Lee and Dirk as they worry about the security of their jobs at the firehouse and attempt to forge ahead in their relationship with each other.  The firehouse they both work for is struggling financially and the possibility that it may be closed permanently is starting to worry them.  Lee comes up with the idea for a Chicken and Beefcake dinner where the firefighters will serve the townspeople dinner in just their pants, hats, boots and suspenders.  The hope is that the women of the town will pay good money to be served by topless firefighters.   Great idea, but Dirk hates it and makes his opinion known very loudly.

Lee is hurt by Dirk’s refusal to support his idea and I must admit Dirk comes off as a bit of an ass at the beginning of the story.  Lee is sweet and determined to help out his station as best he can, even without the support of his partner.  He brings together the fundraiser dinner with the help of an assortment of firefighters and friends and a lot of hard work.  I love the glimpses we get of the supporting characters, especially Billy, who tries hard to turn a bunch of studly firefighters into accomplished wait staff!  It was downright amusing to read that section!

Dirk is at times distant and angry and then he turns around and gets all sweet and supportive.  I am not sure if I want to hate him or keep reading to get more of the sweet and mushy part of the personality!  The passion between Lee and Dirk is intense, but there are a number of moments that are tender and gentle.  I am really looking forward to the next installment of this series to see how these two men develop as a couple.  And, hopefully, we will see more of the secondary characters that were introduced in this book!